A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
A platoon is reminded that "honor, courage, and commitment" is their mantra. At the same time, snipers are taught not to hesitate, even when shooting kids or women. Masculinity is associated with gun power.
Positive Role Models
Soldiers show great courage. While there's racial, ethnic, and gender diversity in the elite hero unit, two of three female characters are portrayed in a sexual light (one makes a crude comment about herself), and almost everyone in the field who isn't White, male, and American gets shot, caught, or killed. Enemies are of Middle Eastern heritage.
Violence & Scariness
High body count in series of scenes featuring bloody, graphic artillery fire, including nonstop use of assault weapons and automatic weapons. Close-up of a beheading. Knife fight. Explosions. Children are depicted as assassins and are shown in peril. Several sympathetic characters die. Explicit gun wounds and blood splatter, including people getting shot in the face.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sexual banter, including a crass comment.
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Strong language includes "ass," "balls," "hell," "piss," "s--t," "whore," and regular use of "f--k."
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Products & Purchases
Featured vehicles look to be product placement, including Range Rover and Mercedes.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drinking in social situations and to relax. Characters smoke throughout. Russian military leader is seen with a bottle of vodka.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Sniper: Ghost Shooter is the sixth installment in the Sniper action film series, which started in the 1990s. As the title suggests, it's a military-focused story that's all about blowing away villains, and it has explicit violence, including a child preparing to behead a hostage, a close-up of a throat being slit, and a woman being shot through the head. You don't have to have seen the previous films to follow this one's "plot." Really, it's just a sequence of high-carnage battle scenes in which American armed forces shoot and kill Middle Eastern and Eastern European enemies in the bloodiest way possible, strung together by a suit-wearing officer who barks out assignments and orders. Masculinity is associated with gun power. And the disturbing "lesson" given to the sniper is to not hesitate or ask questions, just shoot -- including women and children who may or may not have ill intent. While there's racial, ethnic, and gender diversity in the elite hero unit, two of the three women are portrayed in a sexual light (one makes a crude comment about herself), and almost everyone in the field who isn't White, male, and American gets shot, caught, or killed. Expect strong language, especially "s--t show" and "f--k," and drinking, plus smoking throughout. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The military is used as a moral shield to hide this action film's true motive: quenching bloodlust through big guns and bigger machismo. Sniper: Ghost Shooter feels very much like a video game, with long, gory battle sequences strung together through a simple storyline in which the young sergeant knows more than his commanding officers. It seems like a solid quarter of the film is seen through the sight lines of a rifle scope. And it's unabashedly derivative, from Sgt. Beckett's Top Gun-esque relationship with a civilian contractor/superior (Stephanie Vogt) to ripping off lines from better movies ("Yippee-ki-yay, motherf----r," "Say hello to my Russian friend!").
While the film's international locations are gorgeously shot, that beauty is marred by the blood spray and brain chunks that eventually cover the landscape. It's hard not to feel embarrassed for the talented actors who appear in it, including Dennis Haysbert and Billy Zane: This is, without a doubt, the kind of job actors take for the paycheck. And the takeaway is downright horrifying. The film's overall purpose seems to be to comfort soldiers by suggesting that, hey, sometimes we have to kill women and children. To project that message to wishful warriors who fantasize about racking up kills is revolting. But you know which element of the movie is most shocking? Despite the fact that it has nonstop action, a high body count, and intense blood splatter, the story is so rote and uninteresting that it may actually be sleep inducing.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.